Wilmington, Whitingham Consider Further School Consolidation
10/12/10 5:04PM By Susan Keese
(Host) The towns of Wilmington and Whitingham merged their high schools and middle schools six years ago in the face of shrinking enrollments.
Now they may be forced to take a step further and eliminate a school building.
High school students from the two towns now attend Twin Valley High School in the former Wilmington High.
Residents have said they want to keep it that way, even though the building needs to be renovated or rebuilt.
But school board member Phil Taylor says funding for repairs has repeatedly been blocked by state policies aimed at getting small school districts to reduce their infrastructure.
Taylor says the towns may have no choice but to close Wilmington High and send both high and middle schoolers to Whitingham. That would mean consolidating elementary schools as well.
(Taylor) "The voters of Wilmington are not with us, and we have to do our work to communicate to them that the frank reality is that that we're not sustainable with a school system under three buildings."
(Host) Taylor says even if voters approve the change, renovations would be necessary at the two remaining schools.